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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2010-01-12          168001


I've been looking for a good solvent to use for a parts washer tub. Some folks say use mineral spirits, some say use a water based cleaner, and some say diesel fuel works well. I'm a little partial to diesel fuel because I could filter and use it in the tractor when it comes time to change it out.

Anyone doing this?


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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2010-01-12          168002


While I hardly take all the warnings I see as gospel, this is what the MSDS sheet for the ULS diesel we get delivered here says about it;

"Causes severe skin irritation. Aspiration hazard if swallowed. Can enter lungs and cause damage. Use with adequate ventilation. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Do not taste or swallow. Wash thoroughly after handling."

Doesn't seem like the kind of thing I'd want to use.

I certainly would not run it in anything of mine after use as a cleaner either! Even a 'good' filter won't capture the fine particles it will have picked up after use as a cleaner.

I'd stick with something designed for the job like Varsol or one of the specialty cleaners like SafetyKleen's products. MOst of the auto places, Pep Boys, Menards, UAP, NAPA, etc., also carry it.

Best of luck. ....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2010-01-12          168003


The SafetyKleen stuff I used in the 80s was pretty nasty, you didn't want that stuff on your skin and breathing it was not good. Seems like diesel was better than that but the EPA has probably cracked down on them. Don't know about Varsol though. As far as filtration, it seems like running it through a water filtering funnel would filter it well.. no? I use that on all fuel that goes in the tank.
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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-01-12          168004


Diesel is not a good cleaning agent compared to gas which is. But niether is approved or okay for reasons like Murf says.

And as far as filtering good or pure enough to use in an engine I don't you could find a filter; you would have to distill it in my opinion. And even if you could I have to think all the volitile "goodness" that makes fuels combust would evaporate. Case in point: I put 5 gallons of new gas in a tub and soaked my asphalt-coated hand tools in it. After a week I thought I would use the left-behind stuff for the burn pile. It didn't flash like I thought it would---just slowly burned.

Diesel would leave waxy film since it's loaded with parrifin (sp) which is wax.

For small jobs I've found starting fluid works great--better than any off-the-shelf spray cleaners. ....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2010-01-12          168005


OK, you guys have convinced me, I'll give up on diesel. Disposing of old oil is a real PIA these days.

How about mineral spirits? A lot of folks seem to be using that, it isn't supposed to be near as flammable as gasoline and it's supposed to clean well. I'm not too worried about touching the stuff since I'll always wear chemical gloves when washing parts. Heck, I wear gloves doing the dishes. :)

EW, I know what you mean about old gas. I just drained a tank full of 25 year old gas. Man, we couldn't get the smell out of the garage for two weeks. Had to burn gloves, rags, and anything else that touched that old crap. When the old gas was burned off it took a long time to catch and left a pile of red residue in the bottom of the burn pan. Pretty weird stuff, it looked like it was glowing red a day after the fire stopped. ....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2010-01-12          168006


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 168001
I've been looking for a good solvent to use for a parts washer tub. Some folks say use mineral spirits, some say use a water based cleaner, and some say diesel fuel works well. I'm a little partial to diesel fuel because I could filter and use it in the tractor when it comes time to change it out.Anyone doing this?


Spirits have a high flash point--close to diesel if memory serves. You might be thinking of laquer thinner, which is highly volatile but good cleaner---expensive and it evaporates quickly at room temp.

Why not gather all your dirty parts---errrrr----auto parts and have them degreased professionally? Nothing compares to a shop that specailizes in that. ....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-01-12          168008


FP diesel: 125 degrees F
FP spirits: 100 F ....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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cutter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1303 The South Shore of Lake Ontario, New York
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2010-01-12          168009


I've tried the water based and that stuff is terrible in that particular application. Back in the day, one of my jobs as a kid was to clean the heavy wax off the British imports after they came off the ships. We used salvasol for that and for cleaning parts, worked great. Wish I had a jug of it now.

Probably can't get that any longer and I don't want to know what my hands absorbed when I was 16 and is quickly killing me with a mysterious disease either. Currently, I use diesel fuel to clean parts and for light stuff I use carb or brake cleaner.

For the really important stuff, I rely upon Gunslick or Hoppes :)
....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2010-01-13          168014


Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwrks | view 168006
Spirits have a high flash point--close to diesel if memory serves. You might be thinking of laquer thinner, which is highly volatile but good cleaner---expensive and it evaporates quickly at room temp. Why not gather all your dirty parts---errrrr----auto parts and have them degreased professionally? Nothing compares to a shop that specailizes in that.


No, I'm talking the mineral spirits used for paint thinner and not the more volatile lacquer thinner. For general cleaning a lot of guys seem to use it. I'll check into Murf's Varsol too if it's still available.

This restoration project will go on for a few years so gathering dirty car parts and making a lot of 40 mile round trips to a professional cleaner isn't very appealing. Now if you're talking about my parts that's another story :)
....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2010-01-13          168015


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 168014
I'll check into Murf's Varsol too if it's still available.


"Varsol" is a trademark of Exxon's Chemical Division. I learned something today, according to the Exxon website it is just a variant of mineral spirits! It has been chemically altered though from the 'standard' stuff to greatly reduce its rate of evaporation.

It also says it's widely available since it's "prodcuced globally under license to ExxonMobil".

Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2010-01-13          168018


Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf | view 168015
"Varsol" is a trademark of Exxon's Chemical Division. I learned something today, according to the Exxon website it is just a variant of mineral spirits! It has been chemically altered though from the 'standard' stuff to greatly reduce its rate of evaporation.It also says it's widely available since it's "prodcuced globally under license to ExxonMobil".Best of luck.


Thanks Murf. I'll look it up. If it's been altered to have less odor than mineral spirits that would be even better :)

I learned something today too. Not all parts washing cabinets are compatible with petroleum distillates. I dunno, in my troglodyte mind it seems that a petroleum distillate that doesn't mix with water is environmentally safer than a bunch of harsh chemicals that do.
....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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Woodie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 104 Michigan lower
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2010-01-18          168129


I've also been contemplating which "fluid" to use in a parts washer and have toyed with the idea of using WD-40. "Warped thinking" ;-) being WD does a great job of loosing crud and it provides a 'oil finish' to prevent corrosion. Also it is readily available at numerous retailers. I'm open to any suggestions. I haven't as of yet decided on any specific parts washer yet and would purchase the 'chosen/appropriate/d' fluid at that time. Thanks ....

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Diesel fuel for parts washer solvent

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Hettric
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 133 MA
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2010-01-18          168130


To throw out some info, In cleaning machine tools I have used mineral spirits (paint thinner)with some success but it is a mild and slow solvent, I find Naphtha more aggressive but still will not remove the paint, don't think I would use it in a washer though.
For water based where items can be dried before rust issues, I just tried Zep (at HD) citrus degreaser on painted items with success. But for the ultimate, try Zep "Purple Degreaser", at full strength you will be amazed, but do not use on paint (it will strip it right off) and do not use on aluminum (it will eat/etch instantly).
Do use gloves and eye protection.
I built a large sink to wash parts with water based degreaser and have good results washing and rinsing with hot water, the heated parts dry fast enough to beat most "flash rust". ....

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